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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

PM Modi, Donald Trump to hold bilateral meet after ‘Howdy Modi!’ event in Houston

South Block is tight-lipped about the date of the bilateral summit and is working with US officials to finalize the bilateral agenda. The two sides are looking forward ironing out long-pending bilateral trade issue and narrow the trade deficit, currently in favour of India.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2019 15:53 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
New Delhi/Houston/New York
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump have addressed the Indian diaspora in Houston on September 22, the two leaders will move to New York to hold a bilateral summit.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump have addressed the Indian diaspora in Houston on September 22, the two leaders will move to New York to hold a bilateral summit. (HT FILE)
         

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump have addressed the Indian diaspora in Houston on September 22, the two leaders will move to New York to hold a bilateral summit , possibly on September 24 to further deepen ties between two largest democracies in the World.

President Trump is in New York between September 23 and 25 for the Climate Action conference and the UNGA. He is also slated to have an engagement with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in New York.

According to government officials, PM Modi and President Donald Trump will use this opportunity to discuss bilateral trade issues, the international security environment in wake of drone attack on Saudi Arabia, and ways to further enhance defence cooperation between the two countries.

 Also Watch | US President Donald Trump to attend ‘Howdy, Modi!’ event in Houston

South Block is tight-lipped about the date of the bilateral summit and is working with US officials to finalize the bilateral agenda. The two sides are looking forward ironing out long-pending bilateral trade issue and narrow the trade deficit, currently in favour of India. The Modi government has taken significant steps to lower the trade deficit by buying oil and military hardware from the US.

India and US have a robust military partnership with the former looking to acquire 24 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multirole helicopters for the navy, another six Apache attack helicopters for the army beyond the 22 on order and 10 more Boeing P 8I multi-mission maritime aircraft with proven anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare and shipping interdiction capabilities. The entire package is worth upwards of $6 billion.

While President Donald Trump is expected to ask India to lower the temperature on the Line of Control with Pakistan, New Delhi will offer him evidence of Pakistan supported terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and even Afghanistan.

Among the issues to be discussed at the summit are the west Asian crisis with Iran supported Yemeni Houthis attacking Saudi Arabia’s Aramco refinery by drone, causing mayhem in oil market. India has severely criticised the drone attack but has not blamed any country. The US is backing Saudi Arabia with Trump directing his treasury Secretary today to further tighten sanctions on Tehran.

The two leaders will also discuss the stability of Afghanistan, now that the US has walked out of a possible agreement with the Pakistan backed Taliban. India is for a political solution in Afghanistan that has support of all sections of Afghan people.

According to government officials, after the bilateral summit and PM Modi’s speech to the UNGA on September 27, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will fly to Washington. He is expected to meet his US counterpart Mike Pompeo on September 30 to start the process of implementation of decisions taken at the New York summit.

First Published: Sep 18, 2019 23:51 IST

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